Freedom 55 Ride To End MS Raises $46,000 By Pledges & Corporate Sponsors
Bikers Galore Bring In The Funds To Support MS Programs
by Thomas Hagey - KW Now! Local News Aug 31, 2011
Year Two Of "The Ride" Rocks
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
MS affects people differently. Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, which means that your own immune system is damaging your body.
Normally, your immune system helps protect you. It does this by sending in white blood cells and special proteins whenever a foreign substance such as bacteria or a virus invades your body.
The immune system mistakenly believes the healthy tissues in your brain and spinal cord are foreign invaders. Immune cells are sent from the blood into the central nervous system, where they produce chemicals that cause damage through inflammation.
Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates most nerves and helps speed up the communication between your brain and other parts of your body. Inflamation causes the nerves to break down and scar tissue forms in its place.
This inflammation causes the myelin around the nerves to break down, and scar tissue begins to form in its place. This process is called "demyelination."
The term "multiple sclerosis" simply refers to the multiple locations where scar tissue, or "sclerosis," builds up in the brain and spinal cord.
As the myelin protective coating becomes progessively more damaged, the electric signals have a more difficult time getting through and eventually become blocked completely. As the damage progresses, this leads to problems with your muscle control, vision, speech, touch sensations, as well as your thinking.
There is every reason to believe that with funding and research MS can be stopped and cured within a few short years.
Organizations working closely with families and caring communities are the shortest distance between a disease and a cure and ultimately freedom from those who suffer from MS.
The Goal? Freedom From MS
Susan St. John, Director of the MS Society Waterloo District Chapter, works tirelessly throughout the year with help from passionate voluteers to organize a fundraising initiative which contributes significantly to the annual budget of the local MS Society. She explains that The Freedom Ride to End MS is a community charity event which raises money to help people in Waterloo Region with MS to live better, more comfortable, more enriched lives.
This year's event was only the second time it was held but several hundred riders came together through the kindness and generosity of presenting sponsor Freedom 55, and a host of other sponsors in the area.
Michael Brewitt, a financial advisor for Freedom 55 was energized by his post as company representative in charge of helping to organize the event and be the corporate presentor of the $10,000 cheque at this year's ride.
"We are involved with corporate giving right across Canada," said Brewitt. "The Freedom Ride name is a perfect fit for this event. It's a different demographic than what we traditionally do, so it's been very exciting to see its success," Brewitt explained.
John and Rose Emerich (founding members of the Ride) were joined by other motorcycle enthusiasts and embarked on a 150 km open road route featuring parts of the historic Grand River.
The special ride creates the opportunity to help the community learn more about their neighbours living with Multiple Sclerosis and to raise funds to support the society's clients and families.
Now Media would like to thank everyone who came and gave through the 2nd Annual Freedom Ride.
View Video Interviews and highlights of MS Ride
Jack In A Box? John Hofstetter with Emma the family Jack Russell